Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wallpaper Off, Paint On---Den Transformed

While we were away in Florida a few weeks ago, Steve transformed our den.  He removed the wallpaper which had been up for at least 15 years, repaired the plastered wall, painted the trim and ceiling, and painted samples of wall colors.  It was good to get this done while we and our pets were away. 

The trim throughout the house is painted with Benjamin Moore's dove white in an oil based paint, and it was nice to have that done while we were away.  I am bothered by the fumes.

Steve had painted samples of a pretty yellow, "manila" by Benjamin Moore that I suppose is named for the color of manila file folders but it's a much richer yellow with a hint of terra cotta.   The second color he had chosen was a taupe which was pretty, but the yellow seemed so bright and cheerful that Dan and I liked it best.  In one day he painted the walls with a flat latex paint---no unpleasant fumes.
Benjamin Moore's manila. (Patrick suggested the color should be called "cantaloupe".)
After the painting was done I allowed Steve a wide berth in going throughout the house to select art work, pottery and African baskets in our collection to use as accent pieces.  We  purchased only two new items---a pretty narrow bench and new pillows from Crate and Barrel for the sofa.
Narrow tribal bench, jute and acacia wood.

Accent pillows for the sofa. 

One of our favorite paintings, a black giraffe in a black frame, was moved from the living room into the den where it provides a nice sharp contrast against the yellow wall.  We moved a jade plant that requires little light from the dining room into the den, and we purchased a narrow tribal bench to anchor the painting.  I found the bench online from CB2.  The jute rope for the seat hints of Africa and the acacia wood blends nicely with the black frame of the painting. 
Giraffe painting with black frame provides nice contrast to wall color.
Jade plant moved from dining room to den.

Our TV is housed in a corner cabinet and the cable box and framed photographs were sitting on top but Steve remedied that.  He was able to find space within the cabinet for the cable box and the DVD player freeing up space for pottery and other accent pieces on top.  
Corner TV cabinet.
Pottery and other accent pieces.

Dan's James B. Duke chair was moved across the room to blend with the other black pieces.

Two unique art deco pieces were moved from the guest bedroom to the den, and a Rwandan basket was moved from the study to the top of the bookcase.

Unusual art deco pieces.
African basket that Dan brought back from Rwanda many years ago.  Still a favorite of ours.

Our favorite Dhurrie rug. 
We have kept the small Dhurrie area rug that matches a larger one in the living room.  I looked for a new area rug, but found nothing that we like as much as this one that we have had for years. It's "an old friend".

We are delighted with our "new" den.  It is more cheerful and inviting and for a very low cost---less than nine hundred dollars---for the whole project.   It's amazing what a new coat of paint and some rearranging of accent pieces can do for a room.

P.S. Everyone needs a Steve.  He's great!


  1. I love it. It looks very nice. Was going to suggest you start a
    decorating business in your "spare" time, then read you had Steve.

  2. Awesome post! I really love your blog, keep up the great work here!